Friday Free-For-All – 04/19/19

Friday Free-For-All

Woohoo, spring break! Ben’s break begins today, and we couldn’t be happier about it. The last few weeks have been a bit of a slog for both of us, and we’re ready to have some family time. Also, ALL OF THE PROJECTS. We need to get our garden prep going and take care of some stuff around the house that we’ve been neglecting.

Sleep training, round two. We’re also planning to use this break as an opportunity to try to give up overnight feeds with Vera. At her age, it’s not at all necessary, but it’s become a habit that is messing with our sleep and driving me a bit crazy. I haven’t had a night of uninterrupted sleep for almost 10 months and it’s wearing on me. I’m not at all looking forward to the process, but I’m looking forward to the results.

My husband is a cookie gobbler. I bake a lot, because homemade treats are cheaper and generally better tasting than store bought. Recently, I had to start dividing up cookies into “mine” and “yours” batches, because otherwise Ben ended up eating twice as many cookie as I did, and I was not happy about it. Seriously. That man can eat four enormous cookies in one go, whereas I like to make mine last a bit longer. So now we have separate containers.

My race is three weeks away. I’m getting very excited to race again. Unfortunately, fundraising is going a bit slower this year than in years past. A large portion of donations used to come from my work colleagues, and now that I’m not working anymore, well, those donations aren’t happening. I still have time, and I still have some family who are planning to contribute, but I don’t think I’m going to hit $1000 this year. If by chance you feel moved to contribute, the link to my fundraising page is here.

Do you have a spouse who eats a disproportionate amount of treats?

Running for a Cause

Hi friends! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that every year in May, right around my birthday, I participate in the Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k, raising funds to support the Vermont Respite House and the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grande Isle Counties (woof, that’s a mouthful, no?). You can read recaps of the last two years here and here.

Well, it’s that time again! Time for me to put on my fundraising hat and ask any of you who might feel moved to support my fundraising efforts to click this link. It’s fast and secure, and your money will go directly to supporting end-of-life care for terminally ill Vermonters.

Each year since I first started participating in 2014, I have managed to raise over $1000, which earns me a spot in the “Jiggety Jog Club.” Of course, it’s my goal to do so again this year. This is an excellent, well run event, a fun course, and it’s all about raising money for an organization that helps SO MANY PEOPLE year in and year out. It’s very important to me and my family to continue to support the Respite House.

Things are a bit crazy right now, but I’m hoping to maybe organize some incentives for donating, like perhaps a raffle for some fun gear? I’m not sure. Stay tuned. I’ll be pestering you pretty regularly for donations 😉

Friday Free-For-All – 04/24/15

Friday Spring Break week makes for some great commutes. All of our local schools are on break this week, which means that a significant number of drivers who would usually be on the road in the morning are not. This has made my commute SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL. And even a minute or two shorter, which is nice.

Spring Break also makes for a quiet office. Two thirds of my team were out on vacation this week. It’s been like a ghost town around here. I’m ok with it though, because it gave me a chance to really get caught up on stuff without distractions.

I may be joining a running club! I run a lot of races with RaceVermont, because they’re local, and they have frequent, affordable races. I got an email from the race director that they will be starting a one year running club in May. The cost to join is only $10, and they’re partnering with Fleet Feet. I emailed the guy today to get some more details. I’m hoping that the days of the week and locations will work for me, because I’ve desperately been wanting to try group running, and it seems like this could be perfect. Fingers crossed!

I’m at 59% of my fundraising goal for the VRH Jiggety Jog 5k.  It feels amazing to be so far along already, but there’s still a ways to go. The race is on May 9 (my birthday!), and is now only a few weeks away. If you feel moved to make a donation to this wonderful organization, please click here.

Are your local schools on break? How did it affect you?

Have you ever been part of a running club? Did you like it?

Race Recap: VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k

All photos courtesy of my Dad 🙂

This is an annual fundraiser held by the Visiting Nurse’s Association of Chittenden and Grande Isle Counties.  It’s their second-largest fundraiser, and I have to say, they’ve really got their stuff together.

Before the Race:

When I woke up at 7am, it was POURING rain.  I was less than thrilled.  I ate a banana and some PB toast, and drank a few glasses of Nuun.  We arrived at the Allen Brook School at about 8:15 am.  Even though there was a lacrosse tournament happening, there was plenty of parking.  Registration/pick-up/donation drop off was inside the school gymnasium, and everything was very clearly marked.  As a bonus, there were real restrooms instead of porta-potties!  Since I raised $1000, I was part of the exclusive “Jiggety Jog Club” and got a special blue t-shirt (everyone else got orange).

Me, Dad and Mom

Me, Dad and Mom

It was really a lovely atmosphere–my mom introduced me to several of the race organizers, and I felt a little bit like a celebrity–everyone knew my mom from when she had done the race in the past, and they were all so excited to meet me and so happy I was there.  Top Hat Entertainment was there providing music and keeping everyone up-to-date on information, and Champ, the mascot for the Vermont Lake Monsters, was there giving high fives and taking pictures.  Just before the race started, we had a moment of silence for those who have had family members pass away at the Respite House.  And as we were lining up to start, the skies cleared and the sun came out–it was amazing!

During the Race:

There was a timed 5k as well as a “fun run,” so they started the runners first.  There were only 96 runners, so I started out in the middle of the pack (there were no corrals or pacers).  The course wound out behind the school through some lovely fields, and then went through some local neighborhoods.  The course was mostly flat or downhill for the first mile, which was great!  There were volunteers at every intersection making sure we knew which way to go, and there was water at every other intersection, which was great because it ended up being very warm.  This was my first time running in summer-ish weather, and it was tough.

And they're off!

And they’re off!

There was one big uphill at the beginning of mile 2, but thankfully, after my hill run on Tuesday, I was able to push through and it didn’t slow me down too much.  All of the volunteers were incredibly positive and cheered us on.  In the neighborhoods, there were a few groups of kids banging pots and pans, singing, cheering, and playing musical instruments.  I spent a lot of time thinking about Gramma Pat–her smile, her laugh, how she started every letter to me with “Darlin’ Rae” (hence the blog name)…  It made me smile and it made me a little sad that there’s so much about her I’ll never know.  Take it from me, friends–get to know your grandparents.  Ask them questions.  They are fascinating people, and you don’t get to have them for long.

Eventually the course looped back on itself and through the field back to the school.  I was starting to really need to pee, so I kicked it up a notch at the 3 mile marker and brought it home.  It was amazing to have Ben, my mom, my dad, and our family dog, Harley, cheering me across the finish line.  As I crossed the line, one of the volunteers said, “You know that dog didn’t bark for anybody else,” and I said, “Well of course, she’s my dog!” 😀

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line

After the Race and Results:

My official time was 30:26 30:21 (updated 5/14), and I was 48 out of 96 runners–a strong middle-of-the-pack finish.  According to my GPS, the course was actually 3.3 miles, so I’ll take it.   I was also 4th in my age group of 20-29, so that’s pretty cool!<–updated 5/14

Mile 1:  9:00

Mile 2:  9:29

Mile 3:  9:24

Mile 4 (0.3):  8:24

The post-race food was sponsored by Hannaford supermarket, and it was great–bagels with cream cheese, bananas, apples, oranges, granola bars, donut holes, mini cabot cheese squares, coffee and orange juice.  I grabbed a few munchies and some water and went back outside to enjoy the day and cheer everyone on–one woman hula-hooped the entire 3.1 miles–can you imagine?!

Me with Sharon Keegan, one of the race organizers

Me with Sharon Keegan, one of the race organizers

The awards ceremony was awesome.  There were medals for the 1st and 2nd place overall finishers, with 1st and 2nd in each age category.  The medals got a little mixed up, but nobody seemed to mind too much.  They also recognized the top fundraisers in the individual and team categories with special plaques, and all of the Jiggety Jog Club members (only 10 of us) were recognized with certificates.  The best part was, the event surpassed their overall fundraising goal, and everyone gave a big cheer!

Overall, this race experience was one of the best I’ve ever had.  The event organizers were so positive and so happy to have people participating–I was thanked over and over again for my participation and fundraising efforts.  The course was pretty and well-marked, the volunteers were awesome, and the food and music were a really nice touch.  I plan to make this an annual race.


I’m am so thrilled to announce that I have reached my fundraising goal of $1000 for the Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k!


Photo May 06, 10 03 49 AM

I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the donations pouring in from friends, family, coworkers and bloggers.  The Respite House is a truly special place, and this money is well-deserved.

Now that I’ve reached my fundraising goal, I feel like I can really relax and enjoy this race.  Unfortunately, the weather for Saturday isn’t looking so great right now–70s and rainy.  Booo.  I’m still excited, though.  My parents will be coming and this is the first time they’ve ever seen me race.  It’s also my birthday weekend (!!) so my energy is bound to be really positive.

This is turning out to be a really awesome week here on Darlin’ Rae!

Are you racing this weekend?  

Do your parents/family ever come watch you race?


Vermont Respite House 5k Jiggety Jog and Fun Run

I’ve registered for yet another 5k!  This one is supporting an organization that is really important to me.  The Vermont Respite House provides 24-hour end-of-life care for Vermonters who have terminal illnesses.  Personalized meals, massage, and the ability for beloved pets to stay with patients in the facility are just a few of the wonderful services offered.

My grandmother, Patricia Buckler, spent the last few weeks of her life at the Vermont Respite House, and honestly, if it weren’t for the care and attention she and my whole family received, I don’t know how we would have gotten through such a difficult time.  Not only was my grandmother given the best care, but the staff counseled the entire family through “letting go” and being able to say goodbye.

My mother was actually the top individual fund raiser for 3 years running, but due to bursitis in her hip, she’s no longer able to participate.  That means it’s up to me to carry on the family legacy and raise money in memory of my Gramma Pat.  I have set a personal goal of raising at least $1000 before the race on May 10.  That’s the day after my birthday, so instead of gifts, just donate! 😉

If you are interested in reading more about the Vermont Respite House, or donating to my page, please click here.  Every little bit goes directly towards helping a wonderful organization.

Have you ever done a race to raise money for a charity, or in memory of a loved one?